So far I've visited Ko Maprao, aka Coconut Island, twice already. For the pizza at the Village Resort, and even on a boat trip to walk around the island. This time, I'm visiting the Sea Food rafts between Coconut Island and Phuket Island.
The principle is simple, fish, seafood and shellfish are kept in pens under the rafts. You visit the rafts by boats from Laemhin pier, these boats are free, but the captains receive a commission for customers they deliver.
There are two main rafts, Kruvit Raft, and Black Crab raft. You can visit either, I chose Kruvit because it was nearer to the pier at Coconut Island. Since the boat man gets paid for my visit, he was happy to drop me off at Coconut Island first and wait for me to finish exploring the island.
I've read the locals pay only 20 baht to cross to Coconut Island, so its not expensive anyway. I think next time I'll just pay, then island hop from one island to the next, paying the fishermen as I go.
Once I returned to the pier and spotted my boat captain, he takes me to Kruvit ready to eat. A long walk on Coconut is a great way to work up an appetite, and a thirst!
On these rafts, you select your seafood meal from the pens, they are fished out, killed and cooked and served to you as fresh as can be. It is expensive, the seafood is priced at tourist prices, which is how they can afford to pay the boats, but it is a once in a lifetime memory, so why not?!
My meal of 2 huge oysters, 4 jumbo tiger prawns and two crabs plus rice and stir-fried vegetables worked out at 1400 baht plus drinks. The prices are per kilo, so the catch is weighed and priced accordingly.
This is not a fish farm, the fish aren't grown here. The fisherman simply bring them, they're dumped into the pens and then sold and eaten with a few days.
Once you've had your fill, the boat will take you back to Phuket, if he's not around, the restaurant will call him. They all know each other, and the staff will usually remember who you came with, since that person gets the commission!